ARTIST FEATURE: Jes Kopitske
Meet Jes Kopitske! She is a glass artist that uses MANY methods and tools to produce unique works of art.
As a kid my family moved a lot! I grew up all over St Louis. I have lived in Soulard, Tower Grove South, Kirkwood, Creve Coeur, and Olivette. I lived in Seattle for a little while after college, but returned to StL and have lived mostly in South City ever since.
I really enjoyed pottery in high school, and chose to attend the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. While there, I took my first classes in glassblowing, and I was hooked. When I returned to St Louis I didn’t have a glass studio to work in, but taught ceramics at UMSL for some time. I was thrilled to come back to glass when I discovered Third Degree in 2004, and have been working and teaching here since.
A lot of my work includes references to nature. I frequently use floral motifs and landscapes as elements in my surface decoration. The process of working glass – the fluidity and life of the material as it is shaped – inspires me as well.
I use very traditional tools in the hot shop, relying mostly on the basics; jacks, shears, blocks, and paddles. Once the glass forms are complete, I use more modern technology to create imagery on the surfaces. I use graphic software to create and cut vinyl resists which I apply to the surface, then a sandblaster to remove some of the color and create the unique final product.
My latest work is a series of bowls and cups wrapped in a tree line with a misty background layer, and a similar design with the St Louis Arch and skyline.
I teach sporadically in all three studios – from tiles to beads to tumblers. I have worked with students to make so many things! I don’t have a favorite glass project, I just really enjoy the excitement and enthusiasm of our guests as they learn about this amazing material.
Most of my outside time is devoted to my sons – we all enjoy playing Minecraft, biking, and hanging out at the park together. I also try to find time to knit, and to putter in the garden.
Come and visit us to see Jes’s amazing glass work in our gallery!
We’re open Monday-Saturday 10:00a-5:00p and Sunday 11:00a-4:00p.